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Vegan risotto

As vegans do not eat anything derived from animals this recipe contains no butter or cheese just the sweet flavour of freshly harvested vegetables.

Serves 4-6

900ml (1 1/2pt) vegetable stock
500g (1lb) arborio rice
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion or 2-3 shallots, finely chopped
1 glass white wine (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small courgettes, finely diced
200g (7oz) French beans, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths
200g (7oz) fresh garden peas
2 sweetcorn cobs, kernels scraped off with a knife

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and then turn the heat down to simmering point.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan and add the onion. When it has started to soften add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes (do not allow the onion or garlic to brown).

Add the arborio rice to the pan and stir until each grain of rice is coated with oil. Pour in the glass of wine, if using, and once it has been absorbed add a ladleful of hot stock. Stir the risotto until the stock has been absorbed, then continue to add the stock in this way. About 10 minutes into the cooking time add the beans and sweetcorn to the pan, then add the peas and courgettes a couple of minutes later. Season well with salt and pepper. The risotto is ready when all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked (about 15-20 minutes). It should be creamy, not dry. Serve immediately.

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